Film Review

Movie Review: ‘Women Talking’ Illuminates Fascinating Arguments

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Movie Review: ‘Women Talking’ Illuminates Fascinating Arguments

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From left to right, Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Judith Ivey, Sheila McCarthy, Michelle McLeod and Jessie Buckley are "Women Talking." Photo courtesy of Orion Pictures
Movie Review: 'Women Talking' Illuminates Fascinating Arguments

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From left to right, Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Judith Ivey, Sheila McCarthy, Michelle McLeod and Jessie Buckley are "Women Talking." Photo courtesy of Orion Pictures

Left to right, Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Judith Ivey, Sheila McCarthy, Michelle MacLeod and Jesse Buckley Women speak. Image courtesy of Orion Pictures

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 14 (UPI) — "Talking Women," in select theaters Dec. 23, is an example of what's possible when people really listen to every option being discussed and consider every nuance. It's a utopia, but let's hope it's a positive example.

Women in a rural neighborhood discovered that men had raped them during the night. They only found out because the men had drugged them for years and blamed their injuries on ghosts.

So the women discuss their options. At first, it seems like a choice to stay to fight the boys or leave forever, but it's not long before the discussion reveals more questions.

Salomé (Claire Foy) arguing. Other women who oppose abdication fear that if they are not in the colony they will not be accepted into heaven. One of the women shouted "Jesus Christ" so it's probably a Christian settlement (and she was just swearing).

Una (Rooney Mara) is the first to ask a question that breaks the binary thought process. She suggests that they decide what their new colony should look like before deciding whether or not to abandon their current colony.

Are they dropping all the men who haven't committed rape? Or are these people still guilty of failing to stop rapists or of creating a society in which rapists can get away with it for so long? What about mothers of young children?

August (Ben Whishaw) is the schoolteacher who has agreed to write the minutes of the women's meeting. He represents the potential of the good man who is not perfect but knows his blind spots.

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The colony is a microcosm of the whole world. Different points of view can heat up or burn in the shadows, and most real-life storylines won't be as straightforward as writer-director Sarah Polley's 2019 adaptation of Miriam Toys' book, but we've got something. something to look forward to. .

Women in the colonies have complex relationships that come to light in this discussion.

Marichy (Jesse Buckley) refutes many arguments for or against leaving the colony. Already in an abusive marriage, he submitted to violence to maintain peace in the community.

The fragile value of tolerance is also examined. Everyone agrees that expecting women to forgive rapists is a mistake, but soon after, Una begins to see the possibility of forgiveness on her own terms.

The ability to reproduce fleeting thoughts transforms people's choices. Halfway through, you realize that there are more than two sides to every decision.

There's even a mutated character in the colony that represents that aspect of the rest of the world. There are no blacks, but it's unlikely that such a limited colony was inclusive from the start.

For a film that literally says it all, as the title promises, Polly maintains the film's dynamism through its direction and association with unique characters. Polly does not show the attacks on screen, although the consequences are quite serious.

Women Talking is a great intellectual exercise, but it has the potential to be very real for many people. Through the power of film and performance, it has the power to challenge audiences' preconceptions and offer compassionate ways to inspire critical thinking.

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Women Talking expands on January 10.

Fred Tobel, who attended film school at Ithaca College, is a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer for UPI. He's been a professional film critic since 1999, Rotten Tomatoes critic since 2001, and a member of the Television Critics Association since 2012. Learn more about his work in entertainment.

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